Let’s talk about Erectile Dysfunction - and how Tantric bodywork therapy sessions can help.
Men can understandably feel embarrassed, and even ashamed, to talk about erectile dysfunction (ED). Until recently, it’s not been easy for many men to share intimacy issues with friends and family, or reach out for therapeutic help. Fortunately, however, times are changing, and ED is becoming a hot topic in the public domain and more acceptable to talk about.
Tantric Treatment for Erectile Dysfunction vs Erection Pills
Earlier this year I was excited to see large billboards in the London Underground advertising a free self-help manual for ED. It was packaged in a contemporary and approachable way. When I followed the online link, however, I was disappointed to discover a well-disguised advert for Viagra - not really looking at the underlying causes of ED at all, but just treating the symptoms with medication.
Viagra, and other erectile dysfunction tablets may not offer a viable long-term solution for men who experience some of the common side-effects, such as the reduction in sensitivity during love-making. So let’s take a look at how tantric healing therapy (ThT) can help with some of the underlying causes of ED.
Some Causes of Male Erection Problems
Firstly, it’s important to realize that most men experience erectile issues at some point in their lives, according to the UK’s National Health Service, so it’s good to know that you’re not alone!
Erectile dysfunction is defined by the NHS as ‘difficulty in having and maintaining an erection’, and there are both physical and psychological factors which can cause male erection problems.
Erectile Dysfunction - Health and Lifestyle Factors
There are some medical conditions and lifestyle choices which affect erectile health, including high blood pressure, heart conditions, obesity, diabetes, and some prescribed medications, plus recreational drugs, smoking, and heavy drinking. So it’s important to have a medical check-up before booking a tantric healing session if you’ve been experiencing ED symptoms for more than a month.
Stress is a common cause of male erection problems. Many of us are managing high levels of stress on a day-to-day basis, which can lead to physical and emotional exhaustion. Most people are familiar with feeling too tired to get aroused at the end of a long day. Over time, stress can result in chronic tiredness, ill health and depression - all of which affect the body’s mechanisms for getting sexually aroused, and also a loss of interest in sex.
However, the endorphins and hormones which get released during sexual intimacy, including through touch and feeling loved, are actually a great remedy for stress. So it’s important to create time and space for sexual connection to help you to relax and manage stress levels. I’ll explain below how the ancient tantric practice of separation orgasm and ejaculation can not only help you relax but also keep vital sexual energy in the body for erectile health.
Erectile Dysfunction - Psychological Factors
There are some underlying psychological aspects which can cause male erection problems. ED can be situational (eg with a particular partner) or general (it happens in most situations of arousal).
Fear of Failure and Anxiety:
Men with erectile issues know well the feelings of apprehension and anxiety that can come up in the build up to sex. The autonomic nervous system may recall experiences of past ‘failure’ at the point of needing, or losing an erection, which then triggers an involuntary stress response in the body which interferes with the erection process.
Difficulty in getting an erection can be followed by feelings of shame, inadequacy, and guilt about not being able to fully satisfy a partner. This can really affect a man’s sex life, and sense of sexual self.
However, it’s possible to re-program the body’s involuntary response during arousal, and tantric healing therapy can help support this.
Sexual or Physical Abuse:
I regularly work with men who’ve experienced sexual or physical abuse in the past, and this can have a profound impact on being able to open to long-term relationships and sexual intimacy in their lives.
Pornograpy addiction can also interfere with healthy erection. Over time, screen sex can affect the neurological pathways from the brain to the genital area, de-sensitizing sexual responses during 'live' sex with another person.
Strict Cultural Conditioning around Sex:
I’ve also worked with many clients who’ve grown up with a strict cultural upbringing around sexuality (eg catholic education), and need help to re-program their conditioning.
I recommend that clients who’ve experienced any significant sexual, physical or emotional trauma have additional professional support in place before they come for a session eg psychotherapy support.
Tantric Healing Therapy Support For Erectile Dysfunction
Time to talk - Professional consultation:
Sessions last around 5 hours as we need time to create safety and trust before exploring the underlying causes of ED. The session begins with confidential consultation time to talk about intimacy issues. Men who experience ED don’t often have the opportunity to share about past experiences, or about their fears, anxieties and longings. We also take time to agree the content of the session, including intentions, consent and boundaries, so that clients feel comfortable and supported throughout the process.
Therapeutic Tantric Massage - deep bodywork to relieve underlying stress:
The initial bodywork sequence is designed to release physical tension in the back of the body, and to bring the client into a state of deep relaxation. Authentic tantric massage helps to remove blockages in the body’s main energy pathways. These blockages, often caused by stress and physical tension, can affect the flow of sexual energy in the body - particularly to and from the pelvic area.
Releasing emotional blockages:
It’s common for negative emotional experiences, even trauma, to be held in the cellular memory of the body, especially from childhood. This can affect our sex lives - e.g. accidents, surgery, inappropriate touch or abuse, being shamed for sexual behaviours as a young person, lack of loving touch from parents etc. We may also be holding more recent experiences, for example, relationship break-ups, ‘performance failure’ or feeling lonely. The body is intelligent and stores these experiences until a point in time when it feels safe to express and process them. Emotional blockages can create physical tensions too, and resolving the physical tensions, can also rid off emotional baggage. ThT practitioners create a safe and loving space for negative life experiences to be felt, expressed and ultimately released. Underlying factors of ED are often related to emotional blockages.
Increasing blood flow to the pelvic area:
A specialist aspect of ThT bodywork involves the use of Taoist pressure point techniques in the pelvic area. Pressure point ‘pulsing’ helps to remove sedimentation, knots and tangles in the capillaries, which may cause blood flow blockages and can turn into erectile dysfunction. The pelvic basin is an important and hard working part of our body which can accumulate stress, tension and even physical toxins. However, most holistic massage modalities don’t offer therapeutic touch in this area.
Prostate massage therapy:
Prostate massage therapy is a key part of the bodywork. This internal massage helps to remove accumulated tension in the prostate area, which can affect the blood flow needed for a healthy erection. It’s a gentle process, and many clients experience it for the first time. Prostate health is essential for men, and regular massage can support prostate cancer prevention.
The long sequence of oil-based bodywork also includes a relaxing head and face massage, upper chest and abdominal massage. The Taoist abdominal pressure points help to open ‘gateways’ that support the flow of vital energy to the genital area. I’ve often found that clients with ED symptoms don’t breathe deeply, so the Taoist work, accompanied by breathing techniques, helps to bring more oxygen and energy to the pelvic area.
Lingam massage therapy:
Lingam massage therapy is designed to support erectile health, and also introduces clients to the tantric approach of separating orgasm and ejaculation. Non-ejaculation is an ancient practice which helps keeps vital sexual life-force in the body for long-term health and wellbeing. It also supports men with keeping a healthy erection into later life.
Tantric education and partner support:
The session will include elements of Tantric education and information about practices to do at home. In tantra there’s lots more to sexual intimacy than penetrative sex. We discuss the client’s concept of sexual intimacy and how to take the pressure off having an erection (which will often bring back the erection!). We’ll also talk about how you can share your fears and anxieties with your partner. It’s often surprising how supportive and understanding they can be, and a big relief to have open and authentic communication around intimacy.
Tantric Healing Therapy welcomes everyone. We offer high professional standards, ethical practice, and authentic tantric education, with a pure loving intention for the purposes of healing. Whatever sexual difficulties you may be faced with, we can help you to reconnect with your sexuality to bring more vitality, love and wellbeing into your life.
Kate Elena practices as a Tantric Healing Therapist and Trainer in London and Thailand. Please contact her directly for further information, and to make an appointment.